Contentious solar laws challenged in court
A QUEENSLAND solar farm has launched legal action against the State Government over its controversial solar laws, which have been widely condemned by the renewable energy industry.
Brigalow Solar Farm, near Pittsworth on the southern Darling Downs, launched action against the laws in the Supreme Court last Friday.
The action challenges the regulations, which came in on May 13, that allow only licensed and apprentice electricians to locate, mount, fix or remove solar panels on projects larger than 100kW.
The solar farm could not be reached for comment, however the Clean Energy Council threw its support behind the action.
"We believe that the new regulation is inconsistent with the Queensland Electrical Safety Act as it affects activities that are not classified as electrical work under that legislation," CEC's energy generation director Anna Freeman said.
"The Brigalow Solar Farm feels obliged to challenge the regulation through the courts because the industry has been unable to resolve the matter in discussions with the Government since the regulation was announced in April."
The Courier-Mail last month revealed the laws could see hundreds of labourers lose their jobs with businesses preparing for their budgets to balloon by 20 per cent.
The State Opposition also moved to scrap the laws last week, moving a disallowance motion in parliament.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the Government was confident of the validity of its regulations and would defend them in court.
"As this matter is before the courts, it would be inappropriate to comment specifically on the court action," she said.
"However, the Palaszczuk Government acted to ensure Queensland had the highest electrical safety standards for the rapidly-growing solar electricity generation industry."
Shadow energy spokesman Michael Hart slammed the Government, claiming the laws would hurt investment, reduce jobs and drive up electricity bills.
"We are all about safety, but these new regulations are just another unnecessary cost for Queenslanders," he said.